Dhaka, Feb 17 (PTI) Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhonitoday joined 13 other skippers in predicting a closelycontested World Cup and said the team which maintainsconsistency throughout the tournament will win the showpieceevent.
"All teams are in good touch. The gap between matcheswill help players recover from niggles which are bound tohappen. It means every team will be in good shape for theirmatches," Dhoni said.
"A side that plays consistently well over the next sixweeks will do well," he said at a rare assembly of all the 14World Cup participating team captains for a photo-shoot andmedia conference ahead of the opening ceremony here.Welcoming other participating teams on behalf of thethree host countries of the sub-continent, Dhoni said, "Iwelcome the other teams and hope they will enjoy ourhospitality. The interest in cricket in this part of the worldis unmatched. I am sure everyone will have a great time."
Defending champions Australia''s captain Ricky Pontingsaid the World Cup was a pinnacle in the sport and hoped itwould be a spectacle for players and fans alike.
"On behalf of the 13 other captains, I welcome thecricket fraternity to the World Cup. It is the pinnacle of oursport and we will make sure it is a spectacle to remember,"said Ponting, whose lead Australia to the last three WorldCups triumphs.
South African captain Graeme Smith agreed with Dhoni andsaid this edition of the tournament was a far more open thanthe previous three.
"I believe every team taking part has a chance to win, itis all very open," Smith said.
Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara said playing at homeconditions would not guarantee any of the three host nationthe title triumph.
"It is great playing at home and in front of our owncrowds. You have to play your best all the time, better thanyour opponent. The format is such if you make thequarterfinals, you need to play great in two matches to reacha World Cup final," he said.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said there was nopressure on his team to beat India in Saturday''s opening matchat the Sher-e-Bangla stadium at Mirpur.
"Fans do expect a lot but there is no pressure on us.
It''s about doing well in all our matches not just aboutwinning the first game," he said. .